Icarus: First Cohort

Icarus: First Cohort is looking to shake up the survival genre. Developed and published by Rocketwerkz, which was founded by DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall, Icarus is an up-to-eight-player co-op survival game set on a an alien world. Now, time will tell how revolutionary this will prove to be, but even if it’s just another entry in a long list of survival games, I am pretty excited to take Icarus for a spin.

If nothing else, it’s immediately evident that this is a visually striking game. There’s an interesting juxtaposition between such a seemingly common, Earth-like natural environment and spacesuit-clad explorers. In a trailer revealed at the PC Gaming Show at E3 2021 (which I’ll post at the bottom of this article), we see a human in a spacesuit building a log cabin and using a bow and arrow (with animal-skin garb on over their spacesuit) to hunt for food, only to then see what is basically an astronaut walking around with a deer carcass slung over their shoulder.

But aside from just how strange-yet-familiar the game is visually, it sounds like the titular planet, Icarus, will put players through their paces. In between the planetside survival elements, you’ll actually go back up to space, with each planetary excursion being a “session” of sorts. It sounds like there’s an element of time, forcing you to play strategically so you don’t miss your ride back home.

Although I prefer my survival titles to take place entirely in the environ within which I am trying to survive, Icarus‘ sessions-based mechanic could actually be a nice change of pace. Going from space station to the planetary surface on limited-time excursions could shake up the traditional survival-game loop (and perhaps reduce the number of friggin’ trees you need to chop down), while adding a sense of urgency. You’ll need to get what you came for as fast as you can while also ensuring you can get it off the planet before you get left behind.

Icarus: First Cohort

According to the game’s official website, there are also two branching tech trees, one for on-planet, the other for space. I imagine the things you craft while on planet will be more rudimentary, while the things you can build up in space will be more science-fiction-based.

There also seems to be a decent amount of story and lore here, which is something a lot of survival games either straight-up lack or simply don’t explore in any real depth. So that could be a nice diversion, giving some context to activities, missions, and things you encounter.

And did I mention Icarus also looks friggin’ gorgeous? Cause it does.

As of this writing, it looks like we can expect Icarus: First Cohort to land on PC, with no real info on whether or not to expect a console port. If you pre-order Icarus on Steam, you can take advantage of a 10% discount.

Perhaps the best news is that Icarus’ release date is right around the corner and not light years away. Icarus: First Cohort is set to launch on August 12, 2021), so it’s only a matter of weeks before I get to blast off on this adventure.

You can check out the PC Gaming Show trailer for Icarus: First Cohort below.

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